One of the days was quite different from the rest. Instead of going into the city we went into the country to discover another part of God’s Kingdom that is often either not thought about or thought about in very different ways. We drove to a place in Surrey, B.C. called A Rocha. A Rocha is a non-profit Christian conservation organization that seeks to protect and learn about God’s creation. They have several areas on their property, including a small education building/store, organic garden (which we would get to know real well!), orchard, and an area they use for scientific research to help protect local watersheds.
We began the morning by getting lost on our way there, which was fine with me because I played with Sam, the Moser’s amazing baby boy, and had plenty of political conversation with Emmanuel (from Cameroon), Jason, and Colletta. On the way we were able to see the gorgoeus northwest/Canadian countryside. When we finally arrived we started with a tour of the grounds. The main house was the first thing we came too when we pulled up. To the left was a large barn, a couple of other buildings, an orchard, and a large area with trails and ponds that they used for research to protect the Little Campbell watershed. Back behind the main house was the educational center/store and to the right was the large garden and animals.
We spent the morning in the educational center with a deep study on God’s creation. How much does God care about his creation? If he loves it and finds it beautiful and sees it as good, then what does that mean for us? We read through a lot of scripture on how God loves his creation and I would post many of them but I forgot my little packet at A Rocha that day and did not get another one, sorry! But we came to the conclusion that our faith needs to be more holistic, needs to include more than just what we believe. The way we approach the environment needs to reflect the way God loves his creation. Yes, that does trickle down to our everyday decisions. For us in the US, especially in the south, that is a very hard concept to swallow. What does that mean? While this may sound like a bunch of environmentalist propoganda to some, I am more and more convinced of this truth. One of the subtle yet profound conservation practices that we noticed in Vancouver was the lack of paper products (yes they still used toilet paper!). In every home we ate at and in most restaraunts there were no paper napkins, only clothe. In every locally owned coffee shop, and there were a lot, if you did not specify to go then you recieved your latte in a mug. Some of the locals were amazed to hear how often we use paper plates! So right now Amber and I are looking at our lifestyle and trying to find ways to be better stewards of this beautiful place, even in the little things!
The rest of the afternoon was fun, and something that I had never done before…farming! We weeded and hoed garden beds, laid a cover crop for the winter, picked beans and peppers, and got dirty! It was a wonderful time and we really had some good conversations over those weeds and beans. I have always heard that gardening was peaceful, now I know that it is (thats not to say it is not hard work still). So enjoy the photos of our labor and begin to look at your faith more holistically and ask how God would have you treat his creation.